See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

Moon calls for strong military, alliance with US

The president says both countries must work together to tackle the North Korean issue.


Written by

Updated: December 21, 2018

The Ministry of National Defense will speed up military reform and the process of easing military tension with North Korea in the coming year, the ministry reported to President Moon Jae-in on Thursday.

During the annual policy objective briefing, the Defense Ministry said it will begin preparations for the transfer of wartime operational control from the US in 2019.

At the briefing, Moon said the military has a central role in his national security and social policies, and called for a stronger and better prepared military.

Highlighting that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is one of “tentative peace” and that the country must stay alert until the denuclearization process is complete, Moon called on the military to strengthen its capabilities.

“The security situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula is changing rapidly, and our military must become stronger through swift military reform,” Moon said.

Citing the increase in the defense budget, the president went on to stress the importance of technology in defense. Next year’s defense budget has been set at 46.7 trillion won ($41.3 billion), up 3.5 trillion won from this year.

He also emphasized the importance of the South Korea-US alliance, and called for close cooperation with the US in dealing with North Korea-related issues, including the execution of an inter-Korean military agreement.

As part of plans regarding inter-Korean military cooperation, the Defense Ministry said it will continue the removal of guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone, and work toward launching an inter-Korean military committee next year.

The two Koreas have each demolished 11 guard posts from the DMZ this year, and have agreed to ultimately remove all such facilities from the border area.

At present, the North has about 160 guard posts, while the number of South Korean guard posts stands at about 60.

As for the inter-Korean military committee, the Defense Ministry said it plans to launch the body within the first half of next year.

Regarding military reform, the Defense Ministry said the military will be restructured to increase the use of the latest technologies.

Under the plans, the Army will see the establishment of a ground operations command in January. Units under the new command will include an artillery brigade.

The reform plans will also see the anti-terror unit expanded, while a unit operating high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles and a fighter wing with F-35A jets will be established in the Air Force.

In addition, the number of generals will be reduced to 360 by 2022 from the current 436.

Regarding the transfer of wartime operational control, the Defense Ministry said assessment of initial operational control capability will take place in August.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

Can Pakistan play a role in Iran-US tensions

An editorial in Dawn newspaper looks at the role that Pakistan might play in the ongoing tensions. Tensions between the US and Iran, particularly in the Gulf, are rising and the situation has sent alarm bells ringing throughout the region. It is in this context that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that Pakistan was “closely following the situation” and would take a stand “that best served the national interest”. Pakistan is, of course, in a sensitive position as it has decades-old, deep relations with the US, while it shares a long border with Iran. Moreover, this country’s ties with the Gulf Arabs — particularly the Saudis — who are firmly in the American camp, are also cordial and have a strategic and defence dimension. In case of any hostilities


By Dawn
May 17, 2019

Diplomacy

China vows action as US moves to blacklist Huawei

Hopes of a trade deal recede as experts fear American companies could face a backlash. China has slammed the United States for putting technology giant Huawei on an export blacklist and said it will take “all necessary measures” to protect the legal rights of Chinese firms. The latest twist in the face-off between the US and China not only suggests that hopes of a trade deal are fast evaporating, but it could also delay the roll-out of 5G networks worldwide. US technology firms could also face a backlash, experts said. China’s Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that it resolutely opposed any coun


By The Straits Times
May 17, 2019

Diplomacy

Beijing stresses equality in trade talks with Washington

World market confidence dampened by escalation, Chinese state media says. Consultations between China and the United States are not a one-way street, and should be conducted amid a spirit of equality, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday in Russia. Wang said that it is pointless for one side to blame the other, or even to absolve themselves from responsibility. Wang stressed if one side is trying to place extreme pressure on the other, it will cause a legitimate counterattack. “The measures from us are not only to safeguard China’s own rights, but to protect the basic rules of the current multilateral trading mechanism,” Wang said. Wang made the remark in a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during his visit to the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi. Experts warned that the rising US tariffs on Ch


By China Daily
May 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Kami Rita Sherpa climbs Everest for the 23rd time

Sherpa breaks his own record and is untouched as the man who has summited Everest the most number of times. Soft-spoken and always smiling, Kami Rita Sherpa is an affable man. At 49, he is lean and wiry, with a forehead burnt brown from the sun. But his amiable manner belies his accomplishments. On Wednesday morning, Kami Rita Sherpa scaled Mount Everest for the 23rd time, breaking his own record for the most ascents of the world’s highest peak. On the mountain, Kami Rita is seemingly unstoppable. But despite his unparalleled feats of skill and endurance on the world’s highest peak, he remains humble. “Climbing is my duty,” Kami Rita had told the Post in April, before he returned to Everest. “It’s not about the money, I enjoy working on the mountains.”


By The Kathmandu Post
May 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Nepal’s tea estate employees say enough is enough, begin indefinite strike

A special report by Tsering D Gurung looks at conditions for tea workers in Nepal. The Budhakaran Tea Estate, a sprawling property located in the town of Bhadrapur in Jhapa, would usually be teeming with activity this time of the year. Today, it is eerily quiet. Tea leaves meant to have been plucked with the onset of Spring have turned yellow. The gate to the processing factory has been locked for over a month. The only individuals working on the estate, which employs nearly 150 people, are two men guarding the owner’s home. Since April 1, tea plantation workers across eastern Nepal have gone on strike, shutting down estates to demand their employers implement the minimum daily wage and provide other benefits including social security and medical insurance guaranteed under the 2017 Labour Act. Although the law came into effect last July, almost all the workers say they have not s


By The Kathmandu Post
May 14, 2019

Diplomacy

Beijing vows retaliation on US trade

Ministry expresses ‘deep regrets’ in wake of added tariffs on Chinese goods. The Ministry of Commerce expressed “deep regrets” on Friday at the United States’ move to impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports and vowed to take necessary countermeasures. The comments came shortly after the US increased the rate of additional duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, a move that economists said amounts to “typical trade bullying” that will backfire to hurt its own interests. The commerce ministry said in a statement that the 11th round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations are underway, and China hopes the two sides can work together to resolve existing issues cooperatively. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing that a healthy and stable Sino-US relationship serves the


By China Daily
May 13, 2019